Credit unions highlight policy priorities in letter to Biden administration

The two main apex bodies for credit unions sent letters to Joe Biden outlining the sector’s priorities for the year ahead

US credit unions are engaging with the Biden administration to ensure the president and his team are aware of the sector’s policy priorities.

On 19 January the Credit Union National Association (Cuna) sent a letter to Mr Biden, with a series of recommendations for 2021. Cuna pledged to work with the Biden administration to identify policies “that would benefit the 120 million Americans that credit unions serve”. 

“Credit unions are financial first responders, a fact that has been amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic,” wrote Cuna president and CEO Jim Nussle. “Cuna strongly encourages this new administration to support and implement further Covid recovery legislation and policies in 2021 and beyond to ensure credit unions remain in a position to serve their members throughout and after the pandemic.”

Cuna has suggested that regulator National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) refrain from National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund premium assessments and temporarily exclude certain low-risk assets from the net worth ratio. The apex added that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should coordinate credit union supervision and transfer supervision of large credit unions to NCUA, effectively use its statutory authority, and revise its remittances requirements.

In terms of mortgage policies, Cuna believes the Federal Housing and Finance Agency’s (FHFA) recapitalisation plans for the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac, should be phased in on a schedule that prevents disruption of the secondary mortgage market.

The apex also wants regulators should work with credit unions to increase diversity and inclusion, so they can reach and better serve an increasingly diverse population and increase financial inclusion.

“We look forward to working with you in the coming years, and encourage you to utilise Cuna, state credit union leagues, and credit unions as resources moving forward,” said Mr Nussle.

The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (Nafcu) also reached out to the Biden administration to congratulate the new president and share its advocacy priorities for 2021.

Nafcu president and CEO Dan Berger said: “It is a historic day for our nation and democracy, and Nafcu welcomes President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as they are sworn into office.

“Nafcu looks forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to help bring our nation closer together, respond to the pandemic, and promote a brighter future for all Americans. To accomplish this, we remain committed to advocating for meaningful policies that help credit unions serve their 123 million members.”

In a letter to President Biden sent on 21 January, Mr Berger highlighted credit unions’ dedication to their communities and their role in providing relief to those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nafcu’s priorities for 2021 include campaigning for legislation and regulation that would support credit unions as they grow their membership, loans and retained earnings. The apex says it will also campaign for regulatory standards for fintech and other non-depository institutions, and for the streamlining of regulation that allows credit unions to put more resources into serving members.